CD reissues: 1991 Second Battle; 1996 Spalax (France); 1997 Second Battle; 2013 Garden of Delights
LP reissues: 1995 Second Battle; 2013 Garden of Delights
Packaging: Originals are definitely rare, and can get pricey well into the multiple hundreds. The album never had proper distribution here in the States, so if you're in the market for one, you'll want to hang out on the German record selling sites. The above photo is from a past German ebay auction, and as you can see, it's a standard single sleeve. This album was pretty legendary by the time the first CD appeared on the market, and so I nabbed one as soon as it was released. In addition to that, I also picked up the 1995 version on LP. Then sold it... bought it again years later... sold it again. Ha, OK, so I can be a mess sometimes. Honestly, unless you're a vinyl-only collector, there isn't a compelling reason to own the reissue LP. I just recently picked up the Garden of Delights CD, which should be the end state on that front. As usual for GoD, it comes with a full history, photos, and two bonus tracks from a single. These bonus tracks were also on the 1997 SB version, but I never upgraded. Both LP versions do not have the bonus tracks. Given how short those songs are, I think they should have appended them to the LP. If they had, I may have bought that instead of the CD, since I already had it in that format (and would have obtained the bio info from the LP). I'm also keeping the '91 CD, though I suspect I'll eventually part with it, as the GoD version is superior IMO. Maybe one day I will shell out for an original, but it's not a top priority right now.
Notes: Virus' debut is one of those albums that perfectly defines the Krautrock genre as we know it today. It's a mix of psychedelic, hard rock, and that secret ingredient, one that is only whispered about in the dark halls of the murky and mysterious underground. An underground that is hard to describe, but you know you're there when you hear it. And when you hear it, you say "that's Krautrock!". Sure, the title track includes The Rolling Stones' 'Paint it Black', a song that I might add, would itself be a blueprint for all things European psychedelic underground with its Eastern jam cycle motif. If you're looking for loud acid guitar, flute, and jamming organ with tribal drumming, plus stoned vocals - and you haven't heard Virus' "Revelation" - then let me be the first to tell you that you have come to the right place. And the album gets freakier as it goes, so that by the time you get to 'Hungry Looser' (sic - and finally spelled right on the GoD CD), and especially 'Nur noch Zwei Lichtjahre' with its foreboding German narration, then you know you have found ground zero for the entire zeitgeist. This isn't the cosmic Krautrock wing of Ash Ra Tempel or Guru Guru, but if you're looking for the hard rock portion of the Krautrock house, then you found it here. Congratulations on your new baby.
The two tracks appended onto the later CD's, from the 1970 45 single, are also worthy and similar in style.